Wednesday, March 23, 2011

PART 1: James R. White on Fuller Seminary and President Richard Mouw


George Marsden's Reforming Fundamentalism: Fuller Seminary and the New Evangelicalism is a detailed documentation of the downgrade of that once conservative seminary. Obsession with academic and intellectual respectability led them to compromise biblical inerrancy. They did not heed Charles Spurgeon's warning that once you are on that path, the next thing is sliding further downwards on the slope-- at a BREAK NECK SPEED!

One of the defenders of Rob Bell in this present controversy is Dr. Richard Mouw, President of Fuller Theological Seminary (where Bell earned his Master of Divinity degree). In his March 15 post, Mouw says that Love Wins is a "fine book" and that he basically agrees with Bell's theology.

In that same post, Mouw cites his own book that defends the "basics of a Calvinistic perspective" (surely Mouw's version is NOT Calvinism at all), where he tells about a good rabbi he met. When that rabbi died, Mouw hoped that in a Post-Mortem state, he would recognize Jesus as the Messiah  and that Jesus will welcome him in heaven.

Dr. Mouw then asked this "straightforward question":
"Did Mother Teresa go to hell? My guess is that she was a little confused about justification by faith alone. If you think that means she went to hell, I have only one response: shame on you." (emphasis by kuyamanny)

In an episode of the Dividing Line program, Dr. James R. White responds to Dr. Mouw's post. White himself is not a stranger to the Fuller Seminary environment having earned his M.A. in Theology from that institution (Phoenix extension). He recounts this story about a professor who flew from Fuller's main campus (Pasadena). The then young James White ended up debating with the professor on the issue of abortion. The professor was Pro-Choice. A Christian educator advocating abortion!!!

Another story that Dr. White recounts is about a review he wrote in fulfillment of a class requirement. His professor held a book by Gerhard Von Rad and declared "This is the best commentary on the Book of Deuteronomy". The students were required to write a review and note both their praises and criticisms of the book. On the book's positive side, the young James White praised the binding and proceeded to criticize it.

Who is Von Rad by the way? He was a German scholar who held that the "Old Testament writers wrote what appeared to be historical accounts, which were theologically true on a "salvation-historical" plane but which possessed no essential connection with true, past historical reality." (G.K. Beale, The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism).

Read part 2 here

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